The Majority Report with Sam Seder

Cliff Schecter (@cliffschecter) and Film Guy Matthew Weiss (@langdonboom) join us for Casual Friday.

On today's show: Fox News says torture works, just ask "song bird" John McCain. Damn!

Cliff Schecter joins us to break down the latest news out of Washington. Trump claims he's fighting to drain the swamp amid Michael Cohen lobbying controversy. Politico says "pay for play" is just the reality of D.C. Kamala Harris grills Gina Haspel on the morality of waterboarding, Haspel is (spoiler alert!) evasive. Was it cool for Fox to go after John McCain for being tortured?

Film Guy Matthew joins us. The story of how Sam and Matthew met and how Matthew became Film Guy Matthew. The time Sam almost killed Stephen Colbert. An update on the Cernovich doc. Matthew recommends two movies: 'Culloden,' a 1964 film by Peter Watkins about the 1746 battle that ended the Scottish Jacobite uprising, and 'Land and Freedom,' a 1995 film by Ken Loach about an unemployed Brit who goes to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Is 'The Handmaid's Tale' a work of bourgeois propaganda? Everyone but Sam disses The Doors.

On the fun half: Trump rallies his base, bashes foreign aid, celebrates saying "Merry Christmas" in May.  John Kelly says undocumented immigrants "don't have the skills" to assimilate into US society. Brooklyn comedian Jake Flores gets interrogated by ICE for joking about them on Twitter. ICE terrorists bust down a family's door without a warrant. How to deal with red baiting in Europe? An IM-er recommends the dystopia "3%" on Netflix. How to deal with Jordan Peterson's followers? A spirited debate about the causes of, and remedies for, aggrievement politics and right wing populism. Raygun theorizes ICE agents are motivated by a mixture of racism and boredom. A plug for Alison Hartson, who's running for Senate in California.

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If you’re in Brooklyn, come see Michael and Jamie at the DSA Healthcare Community Fair on Saturday, May 12.

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Direct download: 5-11-18-Cliff_Schecter-Matthew_Weiss-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

Zero Books editor and podcast host Douglas Lain joins Michael to take a birdseye view of the much discussed and hotly debated conversation surrounding the "Intellectual Dark Web," the internet's latest cast of "renegades" shaking things up in the American sociopolitical discourse. How the "Intellectual Dark Web" is open to any idea besides the idea that they might be racist or sexist. The troubling way the "intellectual dark web" sucks up oxygen in public conversation when there are more urgent things going on in the world.

On the fun half - Amazon is holding Seattle hostage and Kshama Sawant and socialists are fighting back,  Alex Jones is seeing globalist predictions come to pass, Bernie wants to help the gig economy unionize, Tom Cotton is a super bad guy covering for Gina Haspel, plus your calls and IMs!

If you're in Brooklyn, come see Michael and Jamie at the DSA Healthcare Community Fair on Saturday, May 12.

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Direct download: 5-10-18-Douglas_Lain-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:53pm EDT

On today's show: Oliver North says the NRA is under attack, admits to being a gun runner, wants to scrap the Iran deal. Code Pink protests at Gina Haspel's confirmation hearing. Haspel claims she didn't play a role in destroying the torture tapes, but she's sure whoever did had a good reason. Sen. Mark Warner asks Haspel if torture is consistent with American values and you'll never guess what happens next. A breakdown of payments to and from Michael Cohen's shady LLC. Michael Avenatti calls on Cohen to release records of payments from Russian oligarchs.

On the fun half: Rep. McKinley tells drug distributors "I want you to feel shame about your roles" in the opioid crisis. Bari Weiss is back with another disingenuous article about those poor, unfairly maligned reactionaries. Jamie gives an update on what's going on with the New School occupation. (To donate, Venmo some bucks to Solidarity-4-ever.) Black University of Florida students thrown off stage for dancing at their graduation. Dasha owns Infowars re: socialism and Bernie Sanders. A caller posits the Times will never hire a socialist, but that's okay because we don't want to be in their neoliberal rag, anyway.

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Direct download: 5-9-18-Sam_Seder-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:32pm EDT

On today's show, Stacy Mitchell, (@stacyfmitchell) the co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, joins us to explain how to rein in toxic monopolies.

How Amazon cornered the online retail market with its "free" shipping option. How Amazon is not just a retailer, but an infrastructure company that owns the platform, cloud computing and (soon!) shipping service that everyone is forced to use. How Amazon's monopoly enables it to rip off small businesses and bump up its own search results. How Amazon uses predatory pricing to force smaller companies to sell or perish. The principles of democracy and fairness that drove antitrust laws in the 1890s-1930s and why those laws stopped being enforced in the 1970s/1980s. The influence of the Bork school's assumption that bigger is always better. How monopolies concentrate political power, drive down wages and hinder the growth of small businesses without giving much of a price break to the consumer. The rubber stamped merger of Amazon and Whole Foods and Amazon's plans to use the upscale grocery store chain as distribution centers. Six proposals to reign in monopolies: hold field hearings, "bring daylight to antitrust agencies," set a higher bar for mergers, break up big tech, enact legal regulations, and pass local antitrust laws.

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Direct download: 5-8-18-Stacy_Mitchell-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:23am EDT

Cornell Law professor Aziz Rana joins us to discuss the left's missing foreign policy and the pressing need, fifteen years after the Iraq invasion, for a non-imperial vision of the US and the world. You can read his latest at n+1.

In the run-up to Iraq, there was massive popular resistance but this wasn't reflected in the Democratic Party establishment, many of whom were active cheerleaders for the war and the surveillance state. How foreign and domestic policy became separated from one another as part of the Cold War-era bargain between labor and capital. How Nixon and union leaders solidified this split during the Vietnam era. How McGovern ran and lost on antiwar principles in '72 and the lessons the Democrats took from it. Bernie Sanders' foreign policy shortcomings and what he's doing to fix them. How the bipartisan consensus around foreign policy and its corresponding "experts" allowed figures like Gina Haspel to avoid accountability for Iraq-era crimes. How Russiagate allowed the national security establishment to rehabilitate itself via misplaced Cold War nostalgia. How trade deals like NAFFTA and the TPP undermine social democracy at home and abroad. How US progressives can reconnect foreign and domestic policy and confront post-9/11 developments like ICE and the DHS. Rana's blueprint for a foreign policy based on human rights, not capitalist imperialism.

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Direct download: 5-7-18-Aziz_Rana-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06pm EDT

Mark Thompson (@ministter) and Andy Kindler (@AndyKindler) join us to break down the week's news.

The end of blue slips as a way to stop Trump's judicial nominees. Don Blankenship's insane campaign ad about "Chinapeople" and "Cocaine Mitch."

Mark Thompson (@ministter), host of 'Make It Plain' on Sirius XM, joins us. Rudy Giuliani contradicts his own statements on the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels. Trump says "Rudy knows it's a witch hunt." The slim possibility of impeachment with a Republican held Congress. What's Putin's end game with Trump? Netanyahu's claims about a nuclear Iran and America's blind support of Israel. What's the deal with Kanye West?

Andy Kindler (@AndyKindler) joins us to drag on Dennis Miller for forty odd minutes. When will Miller's ghost of a career become too depressing to have fun with? Sam, Michael and Andy say "probably never." Jamie remains unconvinced, but she'll get used to it.

On the fun half: Ronald Raygun's new nickname and Dave Rubin's filthy lucre. Sebastian Gorka says the mainstream media is obsessed with Sean Hannity. Neil Cavuto, possibly angling for a job at MSNBC, calls out Trump on his pattern of false statements. Sam gets a call from his future self. Tom in Yacubia says we inspired him to unionize his workplace (hell yeah!). Disturbing footage of a police officer kicking an 18-year-old suspect in the head in Ohio. The Democrats need to cater to their base better. Vic Berger's NSFW video of Gavin McInnes and the Pwoud Boys falling even further from grace.

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Direct download: 5-4-18-Mark_Thompson-Andy_Kindler-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) from New York Magazine joins us to detail how Bernie Sanders' media presence is changing how politicians advance their platform in the 21st century.

On today's show: Rudy Giuliani tells Sean Hannity that Trump paid back Michael Cohen for the Stormy Daniels hush money.

Gabriel Debenedetti joins us to discuss his recent article, "Bernie Sanders is Quietly Building a Digital Media Empire." In 2018, Bernie Sanders remains one of the country's most popular political figures in no small part due to his embrace of social media. How Bernie's (paid) interns and other young staffers have helped build a presence on various platforms. Bernie's plans to create an alternative news network that focuses on regular people and policy, not tabloid stories and talking heads. How other politicians view his efforts. How does Bernie's embrace of platforms like Facebook square with his critique of Silicon Valley? Bernie's biggest hits so far. How digital content tracks with door to door outreach. What Bernie and friends have planned for the future.

On the fun half: Alex Jones mercilessly ethers Ben Shapiro. Hillary Clinton claims she lost votes in the Iowa primary because she's a capitalist. WV Senate candidate Evan Jenkins photoshops his primary opponent shaking hands with Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump. Emmanuel Macron calls Australian PM's wife "delicious;" the crew speculates on what happened. A college student thanks us for inspiring her to do politics IRL. What's the proper socialist approach to drug policy? Did Bill Clinton really tell Trump to run for president? Should the left ally with the right to bring controversial speakers to campus? The Mooch teaches us the Italian word for "cuck."

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Direct download: 5-3-18-Gabriel_Debenedetti-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:24pm EDT

Salon's Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) joins us to discuss her new book, Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself.

On today's show: Proud Boy defeated by cardboard sign at May Day protest.

Amanda Marcotte joins us to talk about her book on the pro-Trump movement. According to Marcotte, Trumpism is different from the normal conservative agenda because it's driven by the politics of revenge. She traces this thread from Rush Limbaugh, to Gamergate, to the movement to elect Donald Trump. How did this attitude take over the whole Republican Party? The anti-p.c. movement as proxy battle for other issues. How to deal with this strain in US politics? What role, if any, have liberals and "SJWs" played in creating these problems? What role is played by material forces and economic anxiety?

Dennis Miller's eagerly awaited burn of Michelle Wolf, bap bap bap.

On the fun half: Mike Pence introduces racist sheriff Joe Arpaio at tax policy event. John from San Antonio criticizes Amanda Marcotte's position on Bernie Sanders. Trump's doctor "felt raped" and "like a slave" when Trump's bodyguard raided his office. A caller shares her experience at a Dave Rubin "freedom of speech" event. Dave Rubin's triumphant return to stand-up comedy. Jeff in GA says Trump is the ultimate expression of conservatism. Does the MR crew need to go on the road to understand the Real America? What people should actually be concerned about when they complain about the military budget.

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If you’re local to New York, check out the North Brooklyn DSA’s Community Healthcare Fair on Saturday, May 12. Admission is free and free childcare will be provided!

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Direct download: 5-2-18-Amanda_Marcotte-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:51pm EDT

Trita Parsi (@tparsi), president of the National Iranian American Council and author of 'Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy,' joins us.

On today's show: Trump didn't discuss his "shithole countries" remark with Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari. Mad Dog Mattis says the JCPOA was made "assuming" Iran would "try to cheat."

Trita Parsi joins us to discuss the Iran nuclear deal and the motivations of those who want to scrap it. While opponents of the deal claim to be acting against nukes or in favor of regime change, it's really about shifting the balance of power in the region back to a pre-2003 scenario in which Iran is isolated and contained. How both Israel and Saudi Arabia are using US power to their own ends in the region.

The crew checks in on the Dennis Miller countdown clock. Why do people give Netanyahu any legitimacy? Ben Shapiro gets remixed by Vic Berger. Freedom of speech and the history of May Day. Major donors the Koch brothers had a say in hiring and firing at George Mason University. Fox News made a montage celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden; Condi Rice approves. Condi scolds critics of the Bush admin's torture program that they "weren't there" on 9/11. How Trump's play with North Korea is just like the plot to "Talladega Nights." The definition of reactionary politics. Mindy's insight into why Mika got mad about the WHCD. How Andrew Cuomo gets endorsements from groups that don't actually like him. Pat Buchanan's Hannity appearance.

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Please consider donating to MR listener Teacher Lauren’s fundraiser to aid her mother’s recovery from Graves disease: www.gofundme.com/please-support-miriam

If you're local to New York, consider attending the North Brooklyn DSA's Community Healthcare Fair featuring planning by Jamie and panel moderation by Michael!

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Direct download: 5-1-18-Trita_Parsi-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm EDT

Donald Trump makes some disgusting comments about the Para Olympics and of course no one cares. `

Andrew Bacevich, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and author of, America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, what is the purpose of war? Why the United States military does not "win". What is the distinction between military and civilian rule? Cold War foreign policy and the purpose of Pentagon spending. Bill Clinton's foreign policy and ongoing American action. What does military power exist for? How important were the neocons in the Bush Administration? Did Donald Rumsfeld reset military policy and strategy? What is the "military system". Are we choosing the right people to run our wars? How to deal with the problems inside military leadership. What if China behaved like the United States? Increasing the awareness of the American public about American empire. Why do we call the President the Commander and Chief? And why both political parties are militarized.

The Dennis Miller countdown clock begins.

On The Fun Half: Donald Trump, says Kanye "gots it". Why its so hard to win asylum cases from Central America. The Republicans and the Washington press whine and complain and whine and complain about Michelle Wolf's White House Correspondents Dinner.  Brian Kilmeade, thinks comedy should only punch up? Mika Brzezinski, reaches for her smelling salts.  Will be there be a Democratic wave? and your calls and IMs.

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Direct download: 4-30-18-Andrew_Bacevich-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:51pm EDT